Men’s and women’s cross country at RWU

by Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer

On September 3, the Corsairs men’s and women’s Cross Country raced at Roger Williams University. The men’s team placed third and the women’s team placed seventh.

Having improved their score from last year, the team came to set their goals higher and go further than they had, earning their top marks.

Roger Williams University hosted an invitational tournament which included several teams from different schools to race there, such as Endicott, Colby-Swayer, Salve Regina, Umass Dartmouth, Johnson and Wales, and many others.

The men’s team had risen to third place from fourth, and the women’s had jumped four rank slots, earning their seventh place finish from eleventh last year. At the lead of these runners was Michael Vaz, who had finished in third, and Reme DiGiovanni, who finished in eighth.

Immediate improvement is a great way to kick off the new season here at UMass Dartmouth. Added onto this start is the high performance of the men’s and women’s individual athletes; three of whom made it into the top ten, and four placed in the top thirty.

For the men’s cross country team, junior Michael Vaz placed third overall, with Sean Herlihy at sixth, Dominic Roy at twelfth, Timothy Post at twenty-ninth, Robert Hanlon at thirty-eighth, and Cory Jordan for fortieth. Overall, for the total competition, UMass Dartmouth placed third in the men’s cross country.

Michael Vaz achieved a record for his career, clocking in at 16:21 for overall time, that being the time that managed to place him third out of the total ninety-nine contestants that took part in the men’s cross country.

The women’s cross country team included Reme DiGiovanniís finish in eighth, Jessica O’Reilly for twenty-fourth, Victoria Spitaels for twenty sixth, Hannah Laughlin at forty eighth, Christina Ruiz for eighty-first, Jennifer Miranda for eighty-eighth, and Sophie Morawski for ninety-seventh.

Continuing on with other noteworthy performances are Heather Shanks for one-hundred-thirteenth, Meaghan Shanks for one-hundred fifteenth, and Jessica Griswold for one-hundred twentieth. For women’s cross country, UMass Dartmouth placed seventh in the competition.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams are coached by Jon Hird and Steve Gardiner. As with any and all sports, continuing on into a new year is often difficult, and starting off with such a strong lead creates great hopes for the new season and for the cross country teams.

Of particular note is the performance of Michael Vaz in this contest, whose record-breaking time for his career is a noteworthy feat. His performance in the upcoming matches should be a remarkable one to note, and follow.

As an athlete, if Vaz can continue to bring such record times to the table, a huge performance increase will be seen in how UMass Dartmouth conducts itself in the upcoming competitions and races. Following him in the future will be an interesting piece to update, and see how his growth will not only continue to affect his personal career development, but the career development of the team as well.

The total time (16:21) meant he averaged a five minute and fifteen second mile time, an incredible accomplishment. He helped pace the lead example for the men’s team, and boosted their record amidst their improved standing within the rankings.

The following contests in the upcoming season are full of potential for UMass Dartmouth’s men’s and women’s cross country teams. With their strong start here on September 3 with the Roger Williams University invitational, they have certainly started off on the right foot.

The next competition is an invitational held here, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, on Saturday, September 17.

With the results of this previous match, what’s in store for the cross country teams will be exciting.



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